This post is INN’s Star Citizen Anniversary Stream Impressions and Highlights. In it, we will eschew the typical, shallow bullet list of every detail in the CIG event. Instead, as part of the evolving approach to INN coverage, we’d like to take a deeper dive on the parts that were most exciting and interesting to us. For complete information, straight from CIG, please visit the following key links, which we will update as necessary:
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 1 – The Prowler)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 2 – RSI & Gladius Valiant)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 3 – Drake Interplanetary & Gladius Valiant)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 4 – MISC & Sabre Comet)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 5 – Anvil Aerospace & Sabre Comet)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 6 – Origin Jumpworks & Avenger Titan Renegade)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 7 – Exotic Manufacturers & Avenger Titan Renegade)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 8 – Aegis Dynamics & Hornet Wildfire)
- Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (Day 9 – Grand Finale)
- Letter from the Chairman
- Production Schedule
Star Citizen Anniversary Stream: Did we get what we wanted?
Hey fellow Citizens! What are you hoping to see in the #StarCitizen Anniversary Livestream?
— Wolf Larsen (@WolfLarsenSC) November 16, 2016
Last week I ran an informal poll on Twitter, Discord, and the forums INN frequents around the ‘Verse. The question was simple: What are you hoping to see in the Star Citizen Anniversary Stream? Here’s a quick rundown of the most frequent answers:
- Release 2.6 to drop publicly
- A vertical slice of Squadron 42
- A release date for 2.6
- A 2.6 update
- A Star Marine live demo
- More details on Spectrum
- New Ships!
- Progress on favorite ships!
- Ship sales!
If I were to turn this ad hoc list of fans’ hopes and dreams into a scorecard, I’d give CIG an A- for the day. The only things they missed were a public release and a vertical slice of Squadron 42, but neither were expectations widely held . As far as a public release was concerned, most people who follow development closely had done the math and realized there were at least two significant hurdles to a public 2.6 drop, including finished avocado testing and a PTU drop. It was not on my personal list of predictions.
I didn’t expect any updates on SQ42, personally. I otherwise received something that was more than I was hoping for: We got to see Star Marine, and they follow this up by releasing their internal timetable goals that give me fantastic hopes of seeing 2.6 either before Christmas, or Soon™ after. –Flynt // Community Member
On the other hand, I think CIG delivered a couple of laudable surprises, which I’d like to talk about in detail after a quick look at Star Marine. These include a more detailed production schedule and an incredibly exciting, week-long ship sale.
Yes. It (The Anniversary Stream) was exactly what I expected. Even if the Tevarin had their helmets on. :D Tabascoid // Community Member
Star Marine Confirmed
CIG also pulled together an impressive live demo of Star Marine with two teams including notable members of the community. It’s clear they’ve made tremendous progress with this feature, and in addition to serving as a fantastic new area of play for the dedicated community, there has been a lot of chatter around the eSports potential since yesterday afternoon. Here are a few of my favorite clips:
As you can see, the action was fast and engaging, and this play style had the feel of the old ‘crates’ gameplay in Battlefield. Chris Roberts confirmed Star Marine is in final polish with a little work remaining in the lobby component.
On to those juicy, delicious SHIPS!
It would be hard to say whether ships or the Star Marine demo was widely perceived by the community to be the day’s headline, but the former was my favorite part. My obsession with space ships began when I first saw the Millennium Falcon on the original release of Star Wars, and it has fueled my interest in sci-fi ever since. I love everything about ships, how they look, how they operate, what the interior accommodations are like, so any new information really catches my attention.
On the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo, they shared a number of new videos, but my two favorites are ‘The Ships of 2.6’ and ‘The Big Guns of the UEE’.
The Ships of 2.6
Personally, I’ve never experienced any attraction to the Drake Interplanetary lineup, but this new video and the Pre-Anniversary Stream Lan Part has got me thinking about whether or not I would like to add the Herald to my hangar. I’ve already picked up the 85X based on this footage. Frankly, this is the most beautiful daily-driver I’ve seen, and it is now my go-to in system ride for getting around a planet or local space.
During the live stream, there was also footage of the Drake Cutlass redesign, and I’ve got to say, this is also shaping up to be a contender for space in my hangar.
The Big Guns of the UEE
The Big Guns of the UEE also has a behind the scenes version up on the CIG page, but I chose this one because frankly, I like it better. Without getting too fanboy, all I can say is wow. Just wow. The level of progress CIG has made with these massive capital ships is evident, and I just can’t wait to take a walk through them some day.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the Prowler. Although this ship holds no interest for me, because I have no intention of being a troop transporter, I have to admit it’s one of the most striking and arresting designs to come out of CIG so far. You could really see how the theme of being a ‘Bird of Prey’ carried through to the design.
Behind the Scenes with The Prowler
Finally, on the subject of ships, I’d like to talk a little about the idea to create the concept of the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo. CIG is known for doing week long anniversary sales in the past, and this is no exception. However, they’ve decided to be a little more creative and play on the excitement of shipophiles™ like myself by throwing a nod to the brand new Amazon Original Series, The Grand Tour. This idea may come as no surprise to long-term fans who remember earlier ship videos featuring a likeness of Jeremy Clarkson pitching Star Citizen racing ships in a digital version of Top Gear.
Galactic Gear is a pitch perfect Top Gear sendup from the future. -Chris Bruce //Autoblog
Star Citizen – Galactic Gear Reviews the Origin M50
Managing Expectations with more Information
I was particularly impressed by the decision to provide even more transparency around the production of Star Citizen. Earlier, in my ‘real life’ career, I spent ten years on the production side of delivering enterprise technology projects. One of the biggest things I learned was the importance of providing an appropriately detailed, consistent, single-source of information to every stakeholder involved. What’s really fascinating about the backers of Star Citizen is we aren’t just regular players, we’re also stakeholders in the development of the game.
However, providing more information is not without risk. As Chris Roberts more eloquently phrased it, the question of whether to share more or less information has the potential to be a catch-22. There really are two problems, some audiences read what they want to see in the information (confirmation bias) and some audiences simply don’t understand how often the schedule changes on large-scale technology projects. Either outcome leads to miscommunication and missed expectations.
Nevertheless, the solution to miscommunication is always more communication. The solution to missed expectations is, unfortunately, a little more complicated. I’ll probably dedicate an entire article to the subject of expectations someday, but the bottom line is stakeholder expectations are just that: Something that exists again, and again, and again, in the minds of hundreds of thousands of individual Star Citizen stakeholders. They can be managed, but they can not be controlled. With this many stakeholders, somebody is always going to be disappointed.
Fortunately, many people were not disappointed. My perception, based on chatter on /r/StarCitizen and Twitter, is community sentiment agrees: more information is better and many people are super excited to see the dates regarding the release of 2.6.
So what did I buy?
As of now, I’m playing it a bit conservative so I can see how the rest of the week works out. Since yesterday I’ve picked up the following new additions:
- Gladius Valiant upgrade for my existing Gladius
- A new SC polo shirt
- The physical star map.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve got my eye on that Idris but I think it might be just a step over the top for me to buy on my own. So what are your perceptions? Did you enjoy the stream? What did you buy? I’d like to hear all this and more so please leave a comment or contact us anytime. As always, if you’d like to contribute to INN, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always interested in adding new contributors to the team. See you in the ‘Verse!